A recently completed study estimates the economic impact of the 2013 Oregon Brewers Festival (OBF) at $31.2 Million, a 3.5% increase from the 2012 OBF.
Jeff Dense, Professor of Political Science at Eastern Oregon University, and his POLS 316 Politics and Beer class, administered 748 on-site interviews at the event in downtown Portland between July 24 and 27, 2013.
The analysis utilized the IMPLAN (Impact Analysis for Planning) data and software package to estimate the economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival on Multnomah County. The 2013 OBF generated an estimated $21.9 million in direct and $9.3 million in indirect (additional input purchases made by local businesses) economic impact.
“The study highlights the significant economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival, and craft beer tourism, on the Portland economy,” Dense said.
Respondents were queried on demographic factors, along with estimates of OBF related expenditures in tourism-related categories, including transportation, lodging, meals, gasoline purchases, non-beer related recreation, beer purchased to take home, and expenditures at OBF.
Findings of the study include:
•  A majority (52.5%) of OBF patrons were out-of-town visitors.
• Visitors from Washington, California and Canada comprised 27.1% of total OBF patrons.
• 40% of respondents were attending OBF for the first time.
• 36% of attendees were female, a 10% increase from 2012.
• 25% of OBF patrons were 50 years or older.
• The average out-of-town visitor spent $587.
• Lodging ($11.1 Million) accounted for the largest share of OBF expenditures.
• State and local government received $1.5 Million in indirect business taxes.
• Nearly half (45.9%) of OBF patrons utilized mass transit to attend the festival.

This was the third year of the study; 2011 estimated the estimated economic impact of the festival at $23.2 Million, and 2012 came in at $30 Million. A series of methodological adjustments in 2012, along with the full implementation of the IMPLAN software, provided a more robust and accurate estimate of the economic impact.